Why does enke’s work matter?
- 40% of young South Africans are not in employment, education or training. This represents not just a gigantic pool of untapped talent, but also a source of social unrest (c.f. the Arab Spring) and individual despair (McKinsey & Co., 2012 report: Education to Employment).
- Research by James Heckman (Nobel Prize-winning economist) demonstrates social and emotional competencies are at least as important as technical skills in determining employability, earnings and career success. However, schools and universities focus almost exclusively on academic and technical skills.
- Social and emotional competencies are also linked to social mobility, impacting (in)equality of opportunity (Blanden, Gregg, Macmillan).
- Research such as that by Robinson or Mulgan shows youth learn best through real-world experience. Social entrepreneurship is a relevant, effective vehicle for developing skills and experiences that equip young people for success.
- According to Bobby Godsell, “[o]ur education system (together with mass education systems world-wide) needs to escape from the prism of an industrial society… [T]he generic competencies needed are a capacity of critical thinking, an ability to communicate well, and attitudes and behaviours that build strong teams.” enke: Make Your Mark develops exactly these competencies.
What sets us apart?
enke: Make Your Mark (“enke”) empowers young leaders (aged 15 – 26) to make their mark on their community, their country & their world. Our youth programs focus on the following three things:
- Building social capital: both by increasing the breadth & diversity of a participant’s network and, most importantly, by increasing a participant’s ability to recognise value in their existing networks and the confidence to be able to unlock that value;
- Developing non-cognitive skills: otherwise known as soft skills or social and emotional skills, at enke we are focused on the following skills – resilience, agency, curiosity, gratitude, confidence, surfacing and testing assumptions, reflection for learning (meta-cognition);
- Increasing social responsibility: At enke we believe young people are an under-tapped resource for addressing the world’s social issues. In particular, youth are uniquely placed to innovate for social change. We support young people to take action, developing their own ideas. We see them have real impact. We also see their enke community action projects, that program participants initiate, as a first step in a life-long journey of social responsibility.